A young woman sitting on a suitcase in the terminal of an airport wearing a mask and headphones.

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and more people become vaccinated, you may have summer travel plans on your mind. Here are six tips to help keep yourself and others safe while traveling.

1: Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is the best way to ensure that you are protected from COVID-19 while traveling. If possible, delay travel plans until you are able to get fully vaccinated. Keep in mind that your body’s immunity is not at full strength until two weeks after you are fully vaccinated (i.e. two weeks after the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson). 

2: Review and follow guidelines

Check ahead to see what restrictions and guidelines are in place at your travel destination. You may need to complete a COVID-19 monitoring/surveillance test 48-72 hours before traveling. There are a number of monitoring testing locations available on campus for those who do not have symptoms. Keep in mind that some areas may require test results even if you are fully vaccinated. 

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, schedule a diagnostic testing appointment at Wardenburg or with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Even if you are fully vaccinated, it’s important to get tested. 

Do not travel if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

3: Make a plan

Create a travel plan to keep yourself, your family and fellow travelers safe. Take time to talk through your plans with any family or friends you plan on visiting. Let them know how you’ll be traveling, who you’ll be traveling with, where you’ll be stopping and what the potential risks are. Work together to follow public health guidance and other precautions as much as possible, to ensure everyone enjoys a safe and healthy trip.

4: Bring a mask

Whether you’ve been fully vaccinated or not, it’s important to be aware of and follow guidelines for wearing a mask. Indoor locations like terminals, airplanes, train stations and other enclosed areas may still require masks. It may be helpful to review policies for airlines and other transportation companies before heading out. Unsure about requirements? Pack a mask just in case.

If you choose to use Uber, Lyft, taxis or another ridesharing service, be sure to wear a mask and ride in the rear seat of the vehicle. If possible, keep a window open for the duration of your journey.

It’s also a good idea to practice good hygiene to avoid a variety of illnesses while traveling:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your face.

5: Limit your stops

If you are traveling long distances, try to limit your stops as much as possible. For instance, if you are driving, fill up on gas and food before you leave. Limit bathroom breaks and plan your stops ahead of time. Limiting your stops can help save you time and minimize unnecessary interactions with others. 

6: Practice self-care

Staying hydrated, sleeping 7-9 hours each night and eating regular balanced meals can help our bodies and immune systems stay strong. Remember to drink water throughout the day and pack meals or snacks if you will be traveling for long periods. If you are feeling drowsy during the day, consider taking a quick 20-minute nap to recharge. 

Before you arrive at your destination, be sure to check local and regional guidelines and public health orders. Some areas may require a self-quarantine period for travelers. Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more information.

Additional COVID-19 Information